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Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Projector Review - Performance 1

Posted on November 6, 2013 by Art Feierman
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Projector Review - Performance 1: Brightness, Color Temp, Post Calibration brightness, Quick-Cal, and Eco


As always, I ask Mike to also "tweak" the brightest mode in this case Dynamic, to improve color as much as possible, at the least cost in brightness (we call his "tweaking" a "quick-cal").  We consider this important, as most often, a projector has a brightest mode that just is not pretty to watch.

Update 2/2014:  Mike has changed measuring equipment.  Mike's reported brightness numbers have typically been lower than other review sites.  His new gear is measuring just over 10% brighter than the gear used in this review.  For this reason, in newer documents such as our annual Best Home Theater Projectors report, and when discussing this Epson with projectors reviewed since the change, these measurements have been adjusted upward by 10% to create parity with the newer reviews - that is, so you are comparing apples to apples.  But we have not changed the numbers within this review.  In addition, its worth noting that while Mike measures all the projectors he calibrates, I do my own measurements if we're not calibrating.  My own meter was about 3% brighter than his old, and 7% less bright than his new gear - which is our "standard" going forward.  -art

First, measurements are "right out of the box":

[sam_pro id=1_35 codes="true"]

Brightness and Color Temp, by Mode

Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE: (Lens at mid-point of it's zoom range)
Dynamic 1622 @ 6618
Living Room 1289 @ 8804
Natural 717 @ 7064, 509 in Eco lamp mode (default)
Cinema 655 @ 7895, 489 in Eco lamp mode (default)
THX 572 @ 6872 in Extra Bright lamp mode, 426 in Normal lamp mode (default)
B&W Cinema 655 @ 5582, 468 in Eco lamp (default)


Editor's note:  As discussed elsewhere, we basically consider the Home Cinema 5030 UB and the Pro Cinema 6030 UB to be identical for our performance tests.  The only real performance difference relating to the anamorphic lens.  We decided to use the Pro Cinema this year for the full measurements and calibration.  We will also measure the 5030 UB shortly, although we expect the measurement numbers to all be within a few percent - a reasonable margin of error.

Post Calibration - Best Mode

Mike Calibrated Cinema mode. Post calibration: 644 lumens

That's about 30 lumens less than we measured on last year's 5020 UB. I'd say that the difference is within the margin of error, when measuring.

Quick-Cal: Brightest Mode = Dynamic 1487 lumens

Mike started with Dynamic mode which tends to strong greens and tweaked it, by reducing green, for a better overall picture.  This resulted in 135 lumens less than without adjustment.  The improvement is worth the less than 10% drop in brightness.

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode)

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode)
Zoom out 2083
Mid-zoom 1622
Zoom in 1134

We do almost all measurements at mid-point of the zoom, but do also measure the brightest mode at full wide angle.  In this case, the result of Dynamic is 2083 lumens.  That would work out to about 1900 lumens in our "improved" Brightest mode.

Put that projector as close to the screen as you can, and you've got over 2100 lumens to work with, but lose just over 10% by moving back to the mid-range of the zoom, and for those of you putting the projector on a shelf at the far end of the range, you get about 30 percent less. This is typical of projectors that have zoom lenses with tons of range (2:1 or greater).

This is why we do all our measurements except this one, with the projector at mid-zoom. I normally have most projectors set up near their mid-points when I'm watching them. If you are at the short end of the range, you've got a few more lumens - a little extra juice. If you are way back, my declarations of bright enough, are a touch optimistic. Have fun with all that.

Eco-Mode vs. Full Power

True, dropping to eco-mode will make the lamp last longer - 5000 hours instead of 4000, but that's not a huge percentage. Most likely anyone's real motivation is fan noise.

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